Attempts by the record industry to stop file-swapping are a waste of time, according to a study conducted by researchers at Microsoft.
The four researchers have issued a paper stating that the steady spread of file-swapping systems, and improvements in their organisation, will eventually make them impossible to shut down.
According to the BBC, the research paper said the spread of CD and DVD burners will hamper any attempts to control what members of the public do with the music they buy.
The researchers said the growth of broadband and cheap data storage has resulted in a rise in the numbers of people willing to swap, which will soon outstrip attempts to shut down file-swapping sites.
Instant messaging systems will contribute to this loss of control, they said.
The study also said that attempts to make it impossible to copy CDs have been full of technical flaws, resulting in all of them being defeated.
The paper was presented at a workshop on Digital Rights Management at the annual conference of the US Association for Computing Machinery.
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